ST. PAUL — Martin County will receive state disaster assistance following severe thunderstorms and high winds on June 22. Preliminary damage assessments showed more than $59,800 in damages from the storm. Governor Mark Dayton approved the first ever use of the state disaster contingency account outside of a major federal disaster declaration.
The state provides 75 percent of the total eligible damage costs. Martin County is responsible for covering the remaining 25 percent of costs which were primarily damage to publicly owned utilities and debris removal in the cities of Ceylon, Fairmont, Sherburn and Welcome. State disaster assistance is made available for counties that do not meet the criteria for federal assistance, but qualify for state assistance.
State Disaster Assistance Process
- County declares a local emergency.
- County conducts an initial damage assessment to determine:
o Approximate amount of damage to public infrastructure and its impact
o Approximate cost of debris removal
o Approximate cost of emergency protective measures
- County submits a request for DPS-HSEM to conduct an official preliminary damage assessment to determine if the costs are eligible under the state program.
- If the eligible damages exceed the required threshold, the county must submit a resolution requesting state disaster assistance.
- DPS-HSEM reviews the request and submits it to Governor Mark Dayton.
State Disaster Assistance History
- Governor Mark Dayton signed legislation in 2014 establishing the first state disaster contingency account which provides for:
o Assistance to counties that do not meet the federal threshold during a major disaster declaration.
o Assistance to counties that suffer severe damage outside of a federally declared disaster.
- To receive state disaster assistance a county must reach 50 percent of the federal damages indicator.
- To date, three counties: Morrison, Dakota and Washington, have received assistance from the state account.
o They suffered damages from severe storms that impacted 37 counties and three tribal nations last summer.
o Governor Mark Dayton secured a presidential disaster declaration July 21, 2014 but Morrison, Dakota and Washington counties did not meet the federal threshold.
o The three counties can be reimbursed approximately $1.4 million dollars for eligible costs.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Homeland Security and Emergency Management helps Minnesotans prevent, prepare for, mitigate, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters.
- HSEM staff members are assisting Minnesota communities recover from three state declared disasters and nine federally declared disasters from 2010 through 2014.
- More than 1,800 first responders have received oil transportation awareness training from HSEM staff.
- The Minnesota School Safety Center has provided training to 70 independent school districts and public safety agencies since its reactivation in mid-2013.
- In FY2014, HSEM awarded 196 Homeland Security grants totaling $63 million to local governments and other entities to prepare them for all hazards including terrorism.
A signed copy of Governor Dayton’s authorization of state assistance is available online